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Alary & Geiser Algerian carte-de-visite album, circa 1865

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Title: Alary & Geiser Algerian carte-de-visite album
Dates: circa 1865
Number: 91.R.6
Creator/Collector: Alary & Geiser
Extent: 1 album (33 photographs)
Abstract: The album containing 33 cartes-de-visite by Alary & Geiser documents the architecture and people of Algeria in the 1860s.
Request Materials: To access physical materials on site, go to the library catalog record for this collection and click "Request an Item." Click here for access policy.
Language: Collection material is in French
Repository: The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles 90049-1688
reference@getty.edu
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
(310) 440-7390
Author: Beth Guynn

Biographical/Historical Note

Alary & Geiser was a photographic firm of long standing in Algiers. Lucien-Jacob Geiser (1810-1852), was an ébéniste by trade, who immigrated to Algeria from Switzerland with his wife Julie and three sons in 1850. The exact nature of the business Geiser père established in Algiers is not known, nor is the nature of his involvement with photography. Yet at some point after her husband's death Madame Geiser, who would have taken over the business, went into partnership with Jean-Baptiste Antoine Alary (1810-approximately 1867), an early daguerreotypist. Eventually the youngest Geiser son, Jean-Théophile (1848-1923), became involved with the photography business, running it into the 1920s.

Sources consulted:

Jacobson, Ken. Odalisques & Arabesques: Orientalist Photography, 1839-1925. London: Quaritch, 2009.


Scope and Content of Collection

The album of 33 cartes-de-visite by Alary & Geiser documents the architecture and people of Algeria. Included are architectural interiors and exteriors, nomadic camps with tents and camels, and images of a variety of peoples photographed both in the studio and in more natural outdoor settings. Occupational portraits include laborers, a water porter, Spahis (Algerian cavalry), a wall painter, merchants, and street vendors. The sitters of a few male portraits are identified by title or status. Other portraits emphasize traditional dress while tropes such as "odalisque" or "dancer," common to an objectified European male gaze, are used to identify their female subjects.

The album is bound in dark green leather. Its brass clasps are missing, but the latches remain on the fore edge. Titles are taken from the captions written below the carte-de-visite window opening on most of the mounts.

Arrangement

Arranged in a single series:
Series I. Alary & Geiser Algerian carte-de-visite album, circa 1865.


Restrictions

Access

Open for use by qualified researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Contact Library Reproductions and Permissions.


Indexing Terms

Subjects - Topics

Islamic architecture -- Algeria
Vernacular architecture -- Algeria
Women -- Algeria

Subjects - Places

Algeria -- Description and travel

Genres and Forms of Material

Albumen prints -- Algeria -- 19th century
Cartes-de-visite -- Algeria -- 19th century
Photograph albums -- Algeria -- 19th century
Studio portraits -- Algeria -- 19th century

Contributors

Alary & Geiser

Related Material

Digitized Material

The album was digitized by the repository in 2009 and the images are available online:

http://hdl.handle.net/10020/91r6


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Alary & Geiser Algerian carte-de-visite album, circa 1865, Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Accession no. 91.R.6.

http://hdl.handle.net/10020/cifa91r6

Acquisition Information

Acquired in 1991.

Processing History

Processed and cataloged by Beth Guynn; finding aid encoded by Holly Larson with grant funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in 2009 and updated by Guynn in 2020.


Container List

Series I. Alary & Geiser Algerian carte-de-visite album, circa 1865
Arrangement
In original order.
page
1 recto 91.R.6-1r Intérieur d'une maison mauresque
page
1 verso 91.R.6-1v Intérieur de la casbah / palais des beys (coup d'évantail)
The caption is written upside down above the image.
page
2 recto 91.R.6-2r Campement d'Arabes
Shows a group of men sitting outside a striped tent.
page
2 verso 91.R.6-2v Campement d'Arabes
Shows camels and men seated in front of a large, dark tent. The caption is written upside down above the image.
page
3 recto 91.R.6-3r [Reclining Figure with Cigarette]
page
3 verso 91.R.6-3v [Veiled Woman]
page
4 recto 91.R.6-4r Intérieur d'un café arabe
The photographer's imprint is visible on the border of the carte-de-visite: Alary & Geiser, Phot.
page
4 verso 91.R.6-4v Joueurs d'echecs
page
5 recto 91.R.6-5r Jardin de Marengo et mosquée de Sidi Abder Rhaman
page
5 verso 91.R.6-5v Porte d'Isly
page
6 recto 91.R.6-6r Porte neuve
Title from carte-de-visite mount. The photographer's imprint is also visible on the border of the carte-de-visite: Alary & Geiser, Phot. Written on mount below image: Entrée de l'armée en 1830. The photograph depicts a gate at the base of the city walls of Algiers.
page
6 verso 91.R.6-6v [Group of Arabs outside a Door]
Numbered in negative: N. 39.
page
7 recto 91.R.6-7r Spahis
Numbered in negative: N. 92. The photograph depicts a single mounted cavalryman.
page
7 verso 91.R.6-7v Chasseur d'autruche
page
8 recto 91.R.6-8r Marchand de charbons
page
8 verso 91.R.6-8v Sort
page
9 recto 91.R.6-9r Marchand tunisien
page
9 verso 91.R.6-9v Peintre en bâtiments
page
10 recto 91.R.6-10r Chamaux
page
10 verso 91.R.6-10v Danseuse du désert
Photographic reproduction of a painting.
page
11 recto 91.R.6-11r Porteur d'eau
page
11 verso 91.R.6-11v Jeune Maure
page
12 recto 91.R.6-12r Mauresque en tenue
page
12 verso 91.R.6-12v Mauresque en tenue de ville
page
13 recto 91.R.6-bl1 Blank page
page
13 verso 91.R.6-bl2 Blank page
page
14 recto 91.R.6-14r Danseuse
Depicts a standing woman holding a scarf up to her head.
page
14 verso 91.R.6-14v Danseuse
Shows a standing woman holding a baton.
page
15 recto 91.R.6-15r Négresse marchande de dattes
page
15 verso 91.R.6-15v Groupe de Mauresques
page
16 recto 91.R.6-16r Mauresque en négligée
page
16 verso 91.R.6-16v Marchand arabe
page
17 recto 91.R.6-17r Hagah de Millanah
page
17 verso 91.R.6-17v Fils du Hagah de Millanah
page
18 recto 91.R.6-18r Pacha de Mustapha (Prince)
Photographer's partial blind stamp on verso of carte-de-visite: Alary & Geiser / [Photographes] éditeurs / à Alger.
page
18 verso 91.R.6-18v Officier de Spahis
The mount is lacking the carte-de-visite.